Influences of Intermittent Preventive Treatment and Persistent Multiclonal Plasmodium falciparum Infections on Clinical Malaria Risk


Liljander, A; Chandramohan, D; Kweku, M; Olsson, D; Montgomery, SM; Greenwood, B; Farnert, A; (2010) Influences of Intermittent Preventive Treatment and Persistent Multiclonal Plasmodium falciparum Infections on Clinical Malaria Risk. PLoS One, 5 (10). ISSN 1932-6203 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0013649

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Abstract

Background: Intermittent preventive treatment (IPT) of malaria involves administration of curative doses of antimalarials at specified time points to vulnerable populations in endemic areas, regardless whether a subject is known to be infected. The effect of this new intervention on the development and maintenance of protective immunity needs further understanding. We have investigated how seasonal IPT affects the genetic diversity of Plasmodium falciparum infections and the risk of subsequent clinical malaria. Material and Methods: The study included 2227 Ghanaian children (3-59 months) who were given sulphadoxine-pyrimethamine (SP) bimonthly, artesunate plus amodiaquine (AS+AQ) monthly or bimonthly, or placebo monthly for six months spanning the malaria transmission season. Blood samples collected at three post-interventional surveys were analysed by genotyping of the polymorphic merozoite surface protein 2 gene. Malaria morbidity and anaemia was monitored during 12 months follow-up. Results: Monthly IPT with AS+AQ resulted in a marked reduction in number of concurrent clones and only children parasite negative just after the intervention period developed clinical malaria during follow-up. In the placebo group, children without parasites as well as those infected with >= 2 clones had a reduced risk of subsequent malaria. The bimonthly SP or AS+AQ groups had similar number of clones as placebo after intervention; however, diversity and parasite negativity did not predict the risk of malaria. An interaction effect showed that multiclonal infections were only associated with protection in children without intermittent treatment. Conclusion: Molecular typing revealed effects of the intervention not detected by ordinary microscopy. Effective seasonal IPT temporarily reduced the prevalence and genetic diversity of P. falciparum infections. The reduced risk of malaria in children with multiclonal infections only seen in untreated children suggests that persistence of antigenically diverse P. falciparum infections is important for the maintenance of protective malaria immunity in high transmission settings.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: PLACEBO-CONTROLLED TRIAL, SULFADOXINE-PYRIMETHAMINE, TANZANIAN, CHILDREN, GHANAIAN CHILDREN, EASTERN SUDAN, REDUCED RISK, DOUBLE-BLIND, TRANSMISSION, MORBIDITY, COMPLEXITY
Faculty and Department: Faculty of Infectious and Tropical Diseases > Dept of Disease Control
Research Centre: Malaria Centre
PubMed ID: 21048970
Web of Science ID: 283537000021
URI: http://researchonline.lshtm.ac.uk/id/eprint/1584

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